This week is a big one for Microsoft and its Azure cloud platform, with major updates coming through before its Worldwide Partner Conference. The updates introduce a raft of juicy new features, including Azure Data Catalog and Power BI Desktop.
Azure Data Catalog is actually available in public preview today, and Microsoft describes it as an enterprise metadata portal for the self-discovery of data sources.
Vandals have struck in California's Bay Area leading to a disruption to web traffic. The FBI is investigating the incident which occurred when several fiber optic cables were severed in Livermore, around 50 miles east of San Francisco.
The attack took place at about 4.30 am PT Tuesday, and caused problems for ISPs as well as Microsoft Azure. Backbone providers were hit hard, and web users over a wide area suffered from reduced performance. This is far from being the first attack on internet cables in the area, and the FBI is seeking help from anyone with information that could bring the perpetrators to justice.
Microsoft's focus on the cloud means that the company and its users are more data-hungry than ever before. To help cope with a seemingly insatiable appetite for bandwidth, the company is investing in undersea cables to improve connectivity and bandwidth across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
With an increased push towards services like Azure and OneDrive, Microsoft's infrastructure needed to grow. The company has spent the last nine months forming fiber partnerships to improve intercontinental data connectivity and now new cable deals see North American datacenters connecting Ireland and the UK at greater speeds.
Developers are under ever increasing pressure to roll out applications quickly, and that means performance testing is more important than ever to ensure they work as they should.
To address this HP is using Microsoft Ignite to announce updates to its performance testing tools and that it’s making them available on the Azure marketplace.
Cloud computing has stepped up the pace of app development, with many businesses coming under pressure to deliver new services fast.
Much of the focus of talk about the Internet of Things surrounds what the IoT can do for home users. A clever cooker is great, but move up the scale a little, however, and things start to get really interesting. Now teaming up with Miele, Microsoft today announces that it is also partnering with Fujitsu.
The two companies will work together to create IoT based devices to improve the manufacturing of other products. By harnessing the power of IoT and the M2M (machine to machine) platforms, Microsoft and Fujitsu aim to improve production efficiency and help drive down costs.
The Internet of Things (IoT) are three words that can both terrify and fascinate. On the one hand you have the Jetsons-style modern future, but on the other a darker side filled hacks to products in your home. Microsoft's latest move isn't heading into your home, at least yet. Instead it aims to harness the power of Azure to aid the business world in this new frontier.
Microsoft shoots to "better connect people, processes and assets, and better harness data" with this new offering. The company claims it will allow businesses to more easily monitor digital assets, thereby bring a host of benefits along with it.
The gradual push of just about everything to the cloud means that security and privacy are of greater concern than ever before. This is true for everyone who makes use of cloud services like OneDrive and Azure, but it is of particular interest to enterprise customers.
Today Microsoft has become the first major cloud service provider to adopt ISO/IEC 27018, the world’s first international standard for cloud privacy. The idea is to ensure that there is a global standard that determines how personal data privacy is handled in the cloud. The standard equips people with a number of assurances.
For both software and data, there is a relentless move to the cloud. But with so many different cloud services to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is best. To help make things a little easier, Google today launches PerfKit Benchmarker.
The open-source tool makes it possible to run benchmarks across a variety of cloud platforms, and a dedicated visualization tool, Perfkit Explorer, has been created to help with the interpretation of results. The tool provides essential data to developers who are creating applications in the cloud.
Microsoft has released its earnings report for Q2 FY2015 (that's Q4 CY2014 for everyone else), revealing figures that closely match analyst expectations. The software giant achieved $26.5 billion in revenue, with operating income coming in at $7.8 billion. Gross margin and diluted earnings per share were $16.3 billion and $0.71, respectively. However, in after-hours trading, Microsoft's shares dropped by $2, or 4.28 percent, to $45 per share.
Microsoft has delivered some good news through its earnings report concerning its Devices and Consumer part of the business. Surface revenue reached $1.1 billion at the end of the quarter, which translates to a healthy increase of 24 percent over Q2 FY2014. Lumia sales topped 10.5 million, which, again, is better than the same quarter from a year prior as well as the previous quarter, Q1 FY2015. And the list goes on.
Whenever I see contests and sweepstakes, I am usually dubious. Why? I just don't see the fun in a random drawing. Sure, winning a prize is fun, but if you win it for doing nothing other than signing up, where is the sport? I prefer a contest where the winner earns a prize.
Today, Microsoft announces a rather sweet contest aimed at developers (developers, developers...). Well, not just any developers, but game developers in particular. If you can create a really great Windows game, the company may fly you to the 2015 Game Developer Conference.
Microsoft Azure RemoteApp has been available since the beginning of the year as a preview service. It's a relatively simple concept (although the technology behind it is rather more complex) that allows for the deployment of Windows apps to the cloud so they can be accessed from anywhere -- even Macs and mobile devices.
Today Microsoft announces that Microsoft Azure RemoteApp will officially launch as a pay-as-you-go service on December 11. Anyone who is already working with the preview will be automatically moved to a 30-day trial version, and after this time a subscription will be needed.
The Great Firewall of China is renowned for the restrictions it places on what Chinese citizens can access online. Free speech advocates have long called for the Chinese government to allow access to the wider web, so people in China can get a better idea of what is going on elsewhere in the world. Now GreatFire.org, working with the BBC, has found a way to deliver uncensored Chinese language news to those on the wrong side of the firewall.
GreatFire.org is an anti-censorship group that monitors web blocking in China and campaigns against censorship. Various techniques for getting around the Great Firewall of China have been publicized in the past, but they have relied on VPNs and other tools that can be complicated to set up. The latest method requires no special tools.
Microsoft Azure was hit by an 11-hour outage on November 19, in United States, Europe and certain parts of Asia. The outage impacted multiple services offered through the cloud platform, including Azure Storage, Virtual Machines, Service Bus, and Visual Studio, just to name a few. The culprit? Microsoft links a performance update to the mishap.
The performance update, which is meant for Azure Storage, "had been [successfully] tested over several weeks", says Microsoft, on a small subset of targets, prior to being applied. However, during the general roll-out, Microsoft noticed an issue which resulted in an "inability for the [storage blob] front ends to take on further traffic, which in turn caused other services built on top to experience issues".
Many businesses are put off moving their systems to the cloud by the complexity and time involved to complete the transfer process.
To help overcome this problem management tools specialist Metalogix is launching a Cloud Acceleration Suite along with a Partner Program to help businesses deploy collaboration abilities on their chosen cloud platform.